Close

Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website (www.lrb.co.uk — hereafter ‘LRB Website’). These terms and conditions apply to all users of the LRB Website ("you"), including individual subscribers to the print edition of the LRB who wish to take advantage of our free 'subscriber only' access to archived material ("individual users") and users who are authorised to access the LRB Website by subscribing institutions ("institutional users").

Each time you use the LRB Website you signify your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, or are not comfortable with any part of this document, your only remedy is not to use the LRB Website.


  1. By registering for access to the LRB Website and/or entering the LRB Website by whatever route of access, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions currently prevailing.
  2. The London Review of Books ("LRB") reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time and you should check for any alterations regularly. Continued usage of the LRB Website subsequent to a change in the terms and conditions constitutes acceptance of the current terms and conditions.
  3. The terms and conditions of any subscription agreements which educational and other institutions have entered into with the LRB apply in addition to these terms and conditions.
  4. You undertake to indemnify the LRB fully for all losses damages and costs incurred as a result of your breaching these terms and conditions.
  5. The information you supply on registration to the LRB Website shall be accurate and complete. You will notify the LRB promptly of any changes of relevant details by emailing the registrar. You will not assist a non-registered person to gain access to the LRB Website by supplying them with your password. In the event that the LRB considers that you have breached the requirements governing registration, that you are in breach of these terms and conditions or that your or your institution's subscription to the LRB lapses, your registration to the LRB Website will be terminated.
  6. Each individual subscriber to the LRB (whether a person or organisation) is entitled to the registration of one person to use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site. This user is an 'individual user'.
  7. The London Review of Books operates a ‘no questions asked’ cancellation policy in accordance with UK legislation. Please contact us to cancel your subscription and receive a full refund for the cost of all unposted issues.
  8. Use of the 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is strictly for the personal use of each individual user who may read the content on the screen, download, store or print single copies for their own personal private non-commercial use only, and is not to be made available to or used by any other person for any purpose.
  9. Each institution which subscribes to the LRB is entitled to grant access to persons to register on and use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site under the terms and conditions of its subscription agreement with the LRB. These users are 'institutional users'.
  10. Each institutional user of the LRB may access and search the LRB database and view its entire contents, and may also reproduce insubstantial extracts from individual articles or other works in the database to which their institution's subscription provides access, including in academic assignments and theses, online and/or in print. All quotations must be credited to the author and the LRB. Institutional users are not permitted to reproduce any entire article or other work, or to make any commercial use of any LRB material (including sale, licensing or publication) without the LRB's prior written permission. Institutions may notify institutional users of any additional or different conditions of use which they have agreed with the LRB.
  11. Users may use any one computer to access the LRB web site 'subscriber only' content at any time, so long as that connection does not allow any other computer, networked or otherwise connected, to access 'subscriber only' content.
  12. The LRB Website and its contents are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights including copyright in the LRB Website and its contents belong to or have been licensed to the LRB or are otherwise used by the LRB as permitted by applicable law.
  13. All intellectual property rights in articles, reviews and essays originally published in the print edition of the LRB and subsequently included on the LRB Website belong to or have been licensed to the LRB. This material is made available to you for use as set out in paragraph 8 (if you are an individual user) or paragraph 10 (if you are an institutional user) only. Save for such permitted use, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt such material in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department.
  14. All intellectual property rights in images on the LRB Website are owned by the LRB except where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited. Save for such material taken for permitted use set out above, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt LRB’s images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department. Where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, reproduce or translate such images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The LRB will not undertake to supply contact details of any attributed or credited copyright holder.
  15. The LRB Website is provided on an 'as is' basis and the LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website will be accessible by any particular browser, operating system or device.
  16. The LRB makes no express or implied representation and gives no warranty of any kind in relation to any content available on the LRB Website including as to the accuracy or reliability of any information either in its articles, essays and reviews or in the letters printed in its letter page or material supplied by third parties. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) arising from the publication of any materials on the LRB Website or incurred as a consequence of using or relying on such materials.
  17. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) for any legal or other consequences (including infringement of third party rights) of any links made to the LRB Website.
  18. The LRB is not responsible for the content of any material you encounter after leaving the LRB Website site via a link in it or otherwise. The LRB gives no warranty as to the accuracy or reliability of any such material and to the fullest extent permitted by law excludes all liability that may arise in respect of or as a consequence of using or relying on such material.
  19. This site may be used only for lawful purposes and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict the use and enjoyment of the site by, any third party. In the event of a chat room, message board, forum and/or news group being set up on the LRB Website, the LRB will not undertake to monitor any material supplied and will give no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, originality or decency. By posting any material you agree that you are solely responsible for ensuring that it is accurate and not obscene, defamatory, plagiarised or in breach of copyright, confidentiality or any other right of any person, and you undertake to indemnify the LRB against all claims, losses, damages and costs incurred in consequence of your posting of such material. The LRB will reserve the right to remove any such material posted at any time and without notice or explanation. The LRB will reserve the right to disclose the provenance of such material, republish it in any form it deems fit or edit or censor it. The LRB will reserve the right to terminate the registration of any person it considers to abuse access to any chat room, message board, forum or news group provided by the LRB.
  20. Any e-mail services supplied via the LRB Website are subject to these terms and conditions.
  21. You will not knowingly transmit any virus, malware, trojan or other harmful matter to the LRB Website. The LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website is free from contaminating matter, viruses or other malicious software and to the fullest extent permitted by law disclaims all liability of any kind including liability for any damages, losses or costs resulting from damage to your computer or other property arising from access to the LRB Website, use of it or downloading material from it.
  22. The LRB does not warrant that the use of the LRB Website will be uninterrupted, and disclaims all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred as a result of access to the LRB Website being interrupted, modified or discontinued.
  23. The LRB Website contains advertisements and promotional links to websites and other resources operated by third parties. While we would never knowingly link to a site which we believed to be trading in bad faith, the LRB makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind in respect of any third party websites or resources or their contents, and we take no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, goods or services offered by these websites and resources. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability for any damages or losses arising from access to such websites and resources. Any transaction effected with such a third party contacted via the LRB Website are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the third party involved and the LRB accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from such transactions.
  24. The LRB disclaims liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred for unauthorised access or alterations of transmissions or data by third parties as consequence of visit to the LRB Website.
  25. While 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is currently provided free to subscribers to the print edition of the LRB, the LRB reserves the right to impose a charge for access to some or all areas of the LRB Website without notice.
  26. These terms and conditions are governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with English law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  27. The various provisions of these terms and conditions are severable and if any provision is held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining provisions.
  28. If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, use of the LRB Website must be terminated immediately.
Close

Letters

Vol. 29 No. 19 · 4 October 2007

Search by issue:

Our Ailing Democracy

One can but admire the energy that Simon Jenkins displays rowing strongly as he does when deciding on the treatment best calculated to cure our ailing democracy (LRB, 20 September). But that energy rather goes to waste once you appreciate just how regressive Jenkins’s basic proposal is: that the political parties in this country set about ‘re-engaging with the public’. How they’re to do this he doesn’t so far as I can see tell us. More important, why on earth should they want to re-engage with the public when they are doing very nicely thank you without making any such noble attempt? The thought of starting to redistribute the political power that has become – no doubt unhealthily – so unshiftably entrenched in central government, is unlikely to cross the minds of such as our recently retired prime minister, his successor or the party that has proved so docile in following where the leader of the day requires that they go. Party high-ups may now and again pay lip-service to the kind of democracy Jenkins hankers after, whereby local political activities can generate some real input into the country’s governance but I for one don’t believe for a second that we’re going to see New Labour, or whatever other party may one day replace them, planning to turn back the clock.

As for what the best system could be for political parties to raise the money they need, Jenkins once again takes a line so impractical as to read like defeatism. Party budgets have increased enormously since the days when they survived happily, supposing there ever were such days, on the money they managed to winkle out of their members. If we went back to a system in which party income was raised by that method, annual dues would be onerous to say the least, and the vast majority of people I don’t doubt would be unwilling to pay them. ‘If parties operating as now regulated cannot afford large establishments and advertising budgets, that is their business: they should cut their costs.’ Thus Jenkins. To which one can only answer: Pardon me? The example quoted, of Tony Blair in 1994, newly become leader of his party, going back to his constituency and recruiting 2000 local members, in order to show that from now on New Labour wasn’t going to be in hock to the subsidies it received from the unions, won’t wash. That was an exceptional situation. The local members had the rare experience of finding that their MP was now their party’s leader, which was enough in itself to persuade them to cough up. How many of them remain members of the Labour Party today? And how many of them would have joined had they appreciated Blair’s big reason for wanting them to join?

We can all allow that Jenkins’s political heart is in the right place, but the therapy he asks for is way out of reach. And as for the best system of funding the parties, I found by the end of what he wrote that I agreed with the author of the book he was discussing, that the sensible thing is for them to be subsidised by the state. ‘A party in receipt of state money loses its incentive to build its base,’ according to Jenkins. Unable as I am to perceive any such incentive as existing in our current circumstances, we might as well cut our losses and accept that state funding would be a whole lot more predictable and transparent than the haphazard system we at present live under, with all its murky opportunities for corruption.

Neil Forster
London N1

Spared the Trouble

Impressed by Oona King’s success in being elected to one of Labour’s safest parliamentary seats and contriving to lose it to a new micro-party a few years later, I briefly considered going to her talk at the LRB shop last month. How kind, then, of your editorial team to place the advertisement in the middle of an excellent article about the ongoing disaster in Iraq as a reminder to your readers of how this almost unique feat was achieved, saving us the trouble of having to come along to ask Oona King about it in person (LRB, 6 September).

Rory MacQueen
London N16

The Truth about Kadare

Ismail Kadare managed to write and stay alive under one of the harshest Communist regimes, and for that achievement Thomas Jones is right to praise him (LRB, 6 September); but to understand his survival and success in Albania, it is equally important to investigate his wider Balkan politics. His treatment of the Slavs, in particular, is subtle and deadly. Take The File on H, the novel closely based on the work of Milman Parry and Albert Lord, two Harvard classicists who, in 1933, went to Yugoslavia, recorded the epics of illiterate bards, and from there made the most important contribution to Homeric scholarship of the last hundred years. The novel accurately describes their fieldwork, but for one detail: the fictional scholars make their recordings in Albania rather than Yugoslavia. There is more: as they are about to return to the US with their precious tapes and an answer to the Homeric Question, a Serbian monk from Kosovo persuades the Albanian bards to destroy the tapes of their own songs. It’s true that Lord recorded some Albanian poems in a later trip to the Balkans, but Albanian epic has made no impact on Homeric studies and remains virtually unknown. Why? In Kadare’s novel, it’s because of a Serbian monk: as ever, the Serbs dupe the Albanians and wipe out their culture. Unfortunately, readers of the novel in translation will assume that Parry and Lord really made their Homeric discoveries on the basis of a trip to Albania: the notes accompanying the Harvill edition even state as much. Kadare was a brave dissident, but he can also be seen as a committed anti-Slav nationalist.

Barbara Graziosi
Durham University

Dead Babies

It is depressing to read that Marie Darrieussecq has defended her work from accusations of ‘psychological plagiarism’ by insisting on her real-life experience of dead babies (LRB, 20 September). Darrieussecq has, until now, had an interesting take on autofiction. In 2002, she published Le Bébé, a record of the first few months of motherhood (her first baby was born the year before) as well as an inquiry into what it is to be a mother, especially one who isn’t given to motherliness. Both an essay and a type of autofiction, the book resembles nothing so much as the commonplace books that are sometimes all that remains of 18th-century women’s reading, thinking and writing lives. Le Bébé subtly reworks the genre by fitting together older forms of women’s writing about themselves with present-day preoccupations.

And this should really come as no surprise: in 1997, Darrieussecq defended a thesis at Paris VII called ‘Autofiction and Tragic Irony in Georges Perec, Michel Leiris, Serge Doubrovsky and Hervé Guibert’. Darrieussecq’s academic work is concerned with the way male writers have written about their lives in the last thirty years, and her fiction experiments with different ways of writing about women’s lives, not least her own. It is disappointing to see a writer so alert to autofictional devices agreeing, as Elisabeth Ladenson puts it, ‘that one does not write about such a subject without a personal connection’: I would have expected her to produce a more nuanced defence of autofiction.

Flora Jeunet
Aberdeen

Obscene Child

David Whalin writes that the US enacted the first copyright statute on 31 May 1790 (Letters, 16 August). From early Tudor times the Stationers’ Company, in the precincts of St Paul’s, operated a system of copyright protection for authors who had a copy of their original works deposited and recorded with the Company. This was given official sanction by royal charter and then by the Licensing Act of Charles II. The first ‘real’ copyright act is that of Queen Anne in 1709. It is the origin of our present system of rights, and books published in the Americas, Ireland and Scotland all originally benefited from the rights granted under the act.

Gordon Peilow
London SW19

A pedant writes

In his masterly (not ‘masterful’, as Dinah Birch in the same issue would have it) survey of the current state of the European Union, Perry Anderson twice uses the word ‘referenda’ (LRB, 20 September). But as every schoolboy once knew, or should have known, referendum is a gerund, and in Latin – once the lingua franca of the decrepit continent Anderson so brilliantly anatomises – there is no plural form of the gerund. It could conceivably be a neuter plural gerundive, though in that case it would denote a plebiscite on a number of issues, rather than a number of plebiscites. As bogus Latinate plurals go, ‘referenda’ may not be quite as egregious as, say, ‘quora’. Still, accuracy aside, ‘referendums’ is surely preferable, for much the same reason that no one in their right mind would talk about ‘watering the gerania’.

Martin Sanderson
Ipswich

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.